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CIK Talk - Islamic Theology and the Problem of Evil
Islamic Theology and the Problem of Evil

Sunday, January 23rd at 12 PM EST (20 Jumada Al-Akhirah)

​Presented by: Dr. Safaruk Chowdhury

Like their Jewish and Christian co-religionists, Muslims have grappled with how God, who is perfectly good, compassionate, merciful, powerful, and wise permits intense and profuse evil and suffering in the world. At its core, Islamic Theology and the Problem of Evil explores four different problems of evil: human disability, animal suffering, evolutionary natural selection, and Hell. Each study argues in favor of a particular kind of explanation or justification (theodicy) for the respective evil. Safaruk Chowdhury unpacks the notion of evil and its conceptualization within the mainstream Sunni theological tradition, and the various ways in which theologians and philosophers within that tradition have advanced different types of theodicies. He not only builds on previous works on the topic, but also looks at kinds of theodicies previously unexplored within Islamic theology, such as an evolutionary theodicy.

Distinguished by its application of an analytic-theology approach to the subject and drawing on insights from works of both medieval Muslim theologians and philosophers and contemporary philosophers of religion, this novel and highly systematic study will appeal to students and scholars, not only of theology but of philosophy as well.

Jan 23, 2022 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Dr. Safaruk Chowdhury
Dr. Safaruk Chowdhury studied Philosophy at Kings College London completing it with the accompanying Associate of Kings College (AKC) award. He then travelled to Cairo to study the traditional Islamic Studies curricula at al-Azhar University. He returned to the UK to complete his MA at the School of Oriental and African Studies with distinction. His doctoral dissertation was on the eminent Sufi hagiographer and theoretician Abu 'Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami (d. 412/1021) published as A Sufi Apologist of Nishapur: The Life and Thought of Abu 'Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami (Sheffield: Equinox Publishing, 2019). Chowdhury's research interests, in addition to Sufism at the moment, are in paraconsistent logic, metaphysics, ethics, and epistemology with keen interest in how these subjects were articulated and discussed within the Islamic intellectual tradition - especially within kalam theology.